international shipping enterprises, emigrants, genealogy


During the period between the end of the Civil War and the heightening of hostilities of the Franco-Prussian War in late 1870, American-built wooden paddle-wheel steamships played a competitive role in the expansion of transatlantic passenger traffic. The war, however, along with the ascendancy of propeller-driven ships with larger iron hulls and more efficient engines, led to their demise in this trade. But within the hiatus of the wars, 1869 stands out as the year in which the first direct, scheduled steamer departures from Copenhagen to New York were made. This service was provided by passenger steamers of U.S. registry which were operated from New York by a group of three men known as the Ruger (Ruger) Brothers. Their various steamship ventures have been authoritatively chronicled in American Steamships on the Atlantic by Cedric Ridgely-Nevitt. Also, N. R. P. Bonsor in his comprehensive, multi-volume work, North Atlantic Seaway, devoted a chapter to their activities and placed them in proper sequence among eighty or so other international shipping enterprises that had existed thus far in time since 1838.